NFL Network's Ian Rapoport details his relationship with ESPN's Adam Schefter.
NFL Network insider, Ian Rapoport, joined the latest episode of the SI Media Podcast to talk about all aspects of his job. The information man explained why he can never be away from his phone, talked about the scoop he enjoyed the most, the scoop he missed out on that hurt the most and told a great story about an angry NFL GM who called him after seeing a tweet from a fake Ian Rapoport account. He also discussed his relationship with his ESPN counterpart, Adam Schefter and revealed how they both often get the same scoop at the same time.
SI.com: There are many times where something will happen in the NFL, some sort of transaction where "'Joe Smith' signed a three-year deal for $100 million" and you and Adam Schefter will have it, basically, maybe one will have it five seconds before the other, one will have it five seconds after, it varies. When something like that happens, is it usually the same source going to both of you? Is it both of you following up on a lead? How does it happen where you get the same thing at the same time?
Rapoport: That's a good question. Sometimes, I would say somewhat frequently, there are people who will text both of us, like one after the other. What he does a good job of, and I think I do a good job of, is knowing what stories are coming, knowing what contracts are coming. I could tell that he and I were both on the Frank Clark trade this past week.
I knew he was on it and I knew I was on it and I had the terms beforehand and I was fairly certain he probably had the terms, too. You sort of just wait until it’s done to report it. So I reported that they're deep in talks and getting closer. I went on TV, I said it's done. And when I said it's done, he tweeted that it was done at basically exactly the same time.
So my guess is he and I were both on it and we're sort of waiting for the same word from the same people. Now, we each have different people and there are some stories that one of us will have just completely out of the blue, but I've never actually talked to him about this, nor probably would I ever, but this is my sort of supposition -- we're usually sort of on a lot of the same stuff and so people will be like, “Oh, because you're on it, here's this.”
And then they'll give it to both of us or me, him and someone else or me, him and a local reporter or two or whatever it is, but usually if you're on it, people are pretty good about being, like, “Well, since you knew this was coming, here's this story."
JT: What is your relationship like? Is it a healthy rivalry? Would you say you’re friends? Are you competitive? I'm curious what your personal relationship is. Do you hate his guts?
IR: I would say very professional, cordial. We sat across from each other on our plane on the way back from [the NFL Draft in] Nashville and unless I'm crazy, it didn't seem awkward or weird. There's been a couple moments where we commiserated about the same person who feels a certain way about both of us or something like that.
It's weird because there are definitely things that only he and I can relate to, or maybe just a very small handful of people, but we're also extremely competitive. And so I would imagine we're probably never gonna be friends, nor could we be. But I think that there's a pretty good respect there because there's not a lot of guys that do it. We also, as much as I, and I'm sure he, hates crediting someone else with a big story, we both do it. To me that’s kind of like, "here's the respect." The credit when you break a big story -- you know, "as first reported by" whoever. So I think that's kind of that's kind of where that comes from.